Man’s Best Friend


Life has no end.


Andrew Hay, a dear friend from Oxford, died Saturday after a long illness.  He was thirty-seven years old.  I am sad that he is gone, but glad to have known and loved him.  As I thought about some of our longer conversations, and the impact he had on my life, I remembered a book that I first read at his recommendation.  I pulled it down and began flipping through the pages, skimming my marginalia, stopping at the paragraphs below.

§ 6.4311 | Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present. Our life has no end in the way in which our visual field has no limits.

§ 6.4312 | Not only is there no guarantee of the temporal immortality of the human soul, that is to say of its eternal survival after death; but, in any case, this assumption completely fails to accomplish the purpose for which it has always been intended. Or is some riddle solved by my surviving for ever? Is not this eternal life itself as much of a riddle as our present life?

— Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921)